More than a month since the Flyers’ first and only divisional game to date--when they positively thrashed the Capitals in the home opener--they will finally meet a fellow Metro team in the Islanders.
The Islanders currently sit at fourth in the Metro and are coming off a loss to the Hurricanes on Sunday. The Flyers, having lost to the Canucks last night, their fifth straight loss, look to channel their frustration into some kind of tangible result.
With volatility the story of the Flyers’ last few games, there’s a lot to be thinking about as they head into this second game of the back to backs. Here are three of them.
1. New pals! Welcome!
Big news, friends! Matt Read cleared waivers, and with Andrew MacDonald still in IR, the Flyers announced this morning that they have called up Samuel Morin and Danick Martel from the Phantoms. The two have been having solid seasons down in the AHL, and their addition to the lineup will, hopefully, allow them to spark something.
Morin seems an easy substitution for Gudas on a pure physicality level, with the other defensemen looking to pick up the slack, in terms of play driving. And Martel, with 14 goals in 17 games, we hope will be able to help the Flyers open up secondary scoring.
The story of the Flyers’ last few games has been, undoubtedly, one of frustration. And whether it manifests in taking needless penalties or just sitting back and letting quality chances slide, their game of late has reflected their diminished confidence.
Players and coach alike have acknowledged this flattening and this frustration, so one imagines it’s only a matter of time before they start to do something to change or push back against it (right?). In short, let’s hope they start that tonight.
3. Solid goaltending is a must
As evidenced by last night’s game, one of the most key pieces to the Flyers not digging themselves into an insurmountable hole is quality goaltending. With defense sagging—but hopefully picking up—and the penalty kill showing some weakness, they need their goaltender to come up big, in order to keep them in the game. Neuvirth wasn’t able to do that last night, but Elliott showed some strength and promise. We can expect him to get the start, given this strength, and hope that he can hold onto it.
The models up so far over at Corsica favor the Islanders to win this one, giving the Flyers an average of 41.7 percent chance of winning. So there’s that.
You can check out the Flyers’ projected lineup below.
Giroux - Couturier - Voracek
Weal - Patrick - Simmonds
Konecny - Filppula - Martel
Leier - Laughton - Raffl
Provorov - Hagg
Gostisbehere - Manning
Sanheim - Morin